Saturday, 27 September 2014

Golden triangle tour

Spending quality time with family is imperative and the best way to go about it, is you are always up to your nose in office work is to take your family for a trip and get all the time that you need to bond with them. If you do not have the budget for an overseas trip, then you need not be hassled as you can get an overseas experience by going in for the Golden triangle tour. The Golden triangle tour is one of the most coveted holiday packages in India and you can get one for yourself at reasonable rates and at the same time, not miss out on any of the major attractions of the places. This post will help you to plan out your golden triangle tour package and will also enlighten you on everything related to the same.

What does the golden triangle trip comprise of?

The golden triangle trip comprises of a visit to the three places in India that are teeming with ancient heritage sites and also have a very modern face to them. These places are Delhi, Jaipur and Agra. Needless to say that these places, house some of the best and world famous monuments and visiting them atleast once in your life time is a must. As these places are all very well connected by road, rail and airways, thus you can choose any of the three transits to travel depending on the time that you have for this Delhi Agra Jaipur tour.

The must visits of the golden triangle.

There are many places that the regular golden triangle tour packages offer, but there may be a time restriction on the part of the traveler and thus, cutting down on the places visited will become a must.
You will require a minimum of 7 days to enjoy everything that the golden triangle tour India has to offer. The golden triangle tour is one of the rare tourist places in India which can be enjoyed with family as well as a lone traveler.

Delhi and all the comes along with it.

To start with you need to travel to Delhi, which is known to be the perfect blend of old and new India. Once you are there, you can take rest in any of the many hotels present and wake up fresh for your tour of the place, the next day. There is no derth of places to stay.
The next day, you can visit the Qutub Minar, which is a world heritage site, built in the 11th century. There is the Lotus temple quite close-by and you can take a cab to the place. There are many local markets in the city and you can visit them and purchase the local creations of the people.
If you have an eye for the government buildings, then you can get a taxi to the India Gate, which is just opposite to the Rashtrapati Bhavan, Mahatma Gandhi’s memorial grounds etc. These places can be very conveniently covered in a day’s time, if you set out for you sightseeing of the city early. You can reach back the hotel by late evening for dinner and take rest as your next stop awaits you.

Agra- The land of eternal love

The next morning you need to wake up early and take the superfast expressway to Agra, and you will reach the city in around two hours. Alternatively, you can take a cab to the city, but this will take quite a while longer and is recommended in case you don’t have much time on your hands. Once, in the city, you can check in into any of the motels or rest houses that are available and you can take a nap, before setting out to see one of the seven wonders of the world, the Taj Mahal. Just behind the Taj Mahal, you can get a view of the River Yamuna cascading its way.
The monument is an indelible expression of the love of Emperor Shah-Jahan for his wife. The entire monument has been made of white marble and there is a lot of ancient history that you will get to know about the place, when you are there. Apart from visiting the local markets nearby, you can go into any of the sweet shops and get a taste of the delicious sweetmeats that Agra is famous for.
Once back to your sojourn, you can take rest and prepare yourself for the next day, which includes a visit to the Red fort of Agra and the Sikandra fort which was built under the reign of the Mughal emperor, Akbar.

Jaipur- The pink city

After a two day haul at Agra, your next stop is Jaipur which is situated in Rajathan. The best way to travel to this city is by road. Jaipur is an city is filled with palaces and forts and you are sure to have a great time visiting all of them.
In the golden triangle tours India has to offer, Jaipur is probably the one place that will actually transport you to the old world with its heritage. The city is mostly pink as most of the buildings have been painted in that colour, which has earned it the name of the Pink City.
There is the Amber fort that you make a pit-stop at where you will get a chance to have an elephant ride, an experience that only one who has had, can describe. Also, the Hawa Mahal which is considered to be the best places to visit in India is close-by. This palace is was basically for the royal women to see the entertainers perform in the courtyard.
You can retire in the old guesthouses that this place has to offer and early next morning you need to set out for the Jantar Mantar and the other nearby palaces. Jaipur is also one of the best places to get the souvenirs for your friend and family. The local handicrafts will leave you spell bound and you are sure to be confused about what to pick up and what to leave behind.
The next day you need to fly back to Delhi or you can go in for a flight to your home destination from Jaipur itself.

Best Time to Travel

The Golden triangle tours are carried out all the time, but then the best time for you to travel to the Golden triangle India is between September and March. The weather during this time is pleasant and hence, travelling will not be an issue.
There are many golden triangle tour operators that you can search for on the internet, and you can even have a tailor-made golden triangle tour if you want. Depending on the number of days and the number of places that you want to visit, you can either make up an itinerary for yourself and go ahead with the trip, on your own, or you can ask your agent to do the needful for you.
In case you are a solo traveler you need to make sure that you have all the detailed information about the different places that you will be visiting while you are there, or you may end up in trouble.
The golden triangle tour of India is a tour that you must undertake, whenever you get time and feel the need for a holiday. It is known to be the favourite tour package of many of foreign tourists who come to visit India during their holiday season. You are going to have memorable experiences during the trip and you will sure want to get back the next time. Rest assured.

Friday, 26 September 2014

Navratri Festival Visit Gujrat...

At a glance :

Navratri, meaning 'nine nights', is one of the most popular and widely celebrated Hindu festivals in many parts of India. Gujarat, however, is the only state that erupts into a nine-night dance festival, perhaps the longest in the world. Each night, all over the state, villages and cities alike, people gather in open spaces to celebrate feminine divinity, referred to as Shakti.

The dance form known as ras garba (also joined sometimes by dandiya, which uses small wooden sticks), comes from Lord Krishna's worship rather than Goddess worship, from the Gop culture of Saurashtra and Kutch. Stories of relationships between Krishna and the Gopis, and their emotions, also often make their way into the ras garba music.

Nevertheless, the focal point of every garba circle is the small Goddess shrine erected by each community to mark the beginning of the festival, on the first day of the Hindu month of Ashwin. The shrine includes a garbo, an earthenware pot, in which a betel nut, coconut, and silver coin are placed.

Each night the village or urban neighborhood gathers to perform a puja to one of the nine forms of Goddess. The nine nights are also broken up into sections of three; the first is for Durga, the goddess who destroyed an evil force represented by the demon Mahishasura, and who destroys human impurities; the second is for Lakshmi, the goddess of prosperity; the third is for Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and art. It is a time to celebrate fertility and the monsoon harvest, represented by a mound of fresh soil in which grains are sown.

After the puja begins the music; it is unmistakable to those who are familiar with the style and irresistible to many. People begin to dance in a circle, whirling away till late into the night. It is not uncommon to find dancers with swords or lit flames and other spectacles.

The traditional dance steps are simple, though over the years people have been inventing more complex steps. Similarly, the music was traditionally acoustic, principally composed of drums and singing, but most people now use amplified sound systems or a blend in the form of a live band with modern instruments. Vadodara is a good place to find the full range of these styles, traditional to modern, acoustic to amplified, simple to complicated, each one represented in its extreme somewhere in the city.

The tenth day, Dashera, also known as Vijayadashami in South India, is celebrated by doing a puja to bless one's vehicle, and is also the day to buy new vehicles, if necessary. It 's also celebrated, probably after getting up far later than usual, by unabashedly eating lots of fafda, a salty fried crunchy snack and jalebi, a sweet fried sticky snack.

Religion and tradition aside, a garba circle can take on a surprising spiritual power. Women often give up certain eatables during these nights, which can be quite a purifying experience, if done right. It is a time for even the most traditional and housebound women to be out of the house and whirling, uninhibited, towards the divinity that hides within her own body. Many of the songs begin slow and gradually speed up, sending the dancers into a trance, especially when the music and dance is in its rawest form. When you come to a garba, wherever in Gujarat you may find yourself for Navratri, imagine this: A circle, or concentric circles, moving around the central representation of a universal creative force, the source of life; everybody performing the same step; a mandala of energetic potential; the Mother Goddess unleashed.

When :

Navratri is celebrated for nine nights, beginning on the first day of the bright fortnight of the Hindu month Ashwin, roughly corresponding to dates in the Gregorian calendar in September/October. This also usually coincides with the end of the rainy season. Dasara/Vijayadashami, is the tenth day of Ashwin.

Where :

Garba happens at night in villages and neighborhoods all around Gujarat, so just step outside and follow the booming garba music. Vadodara is considered the cultural capital of Gujarat, and the most sought after location for celebrating Navratri. Try to visit at least one village garba too, for a range of experience.

Religious pilgrimage during this festival focuses mainly in the Shakti Peethas: Ambaji, Pavagadh and Bahuchraji near Mehsana. There are also major celebrations in temples such as Ashapura Mata-no-Madh in Kutch, Khodiyar Mandir near Bhavnagar, and Chamunda Mata Mandir at Chotila on the Ahmedabad-Rajkot National Highway.

History :

There are many enthralling legends and myths attached to the history of Navratri:
  • The demon Mahishasur, after being given a boon by the fire god Agni that he wouldn't be killed by weapons bearing masculine names, caused grave destruction and terror. The gods sought the help of Lord Shiva, who advised the invocation of the goddess Shakti. With the gods' prayers, a divine luster sprang from the heart of Lord Shiva and the bodies of all the gods and formed the goddess Adhya Shakti. The gods gave her ornaments, arms and a lion as a vehicle. She fought with the evil Mahishasur for nine long days and nights, and at last, resulted in the beheading of Mahisa on the tenth. The nine nights came to be known as Navratri, while the tenth day was called Vijaya Dashami, the tenth day that brought the triumph of good over the evil.
  • Sati (also known as Uma) married Lord Shiva against the wishes of her father, King Daksha Prajapati. In revenge, Daksha organized a huge yagna and invited all the gods and deities except his new son-in-law. Sati decided to attend the yagna despite Lord Shiva's attempt to persuade her not to. The King ignored his daughter's presence and publically abused Lord Shiva. Unable to bear her father’s insults, Sati committed suicide by jumping into the yagna fire. However, she was reborn and again won Lord Shiva as her groom and peace was restored. It is believed that since then Uma comes every year with her four children Ganesh, Kartik, Saraswati and Laxmi and two of her best friends or 'sakhis' called Jaya and Bijaya, to visit her parent's home during Navratri.
These legends and story are part of the history that surrounds the festival of Navratri and are going to be around as long as the festival continues.